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Run, Have Fun and Get Dirty

Posted by Chrissy Horan  October 9, 2013 04:37 AM

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Mud runs and obstacle course challenges seem to be the “it” thing in the running world these days. Running a 5K was not tough enough for some folks and running a 10-mile race was too boring for others. So someone had the idea to add the challenge of doing so with a soppy shoe and mud in your eyes.

I admit I have yet to try my first such event. It’s not really that surprising that I have not jumped on this bandwagon. I’m the girl who hates to get sand on my towel at the beach. Mud in my ears? Um, I’ll pass.

Yet it amazes me how many people have participated in these events. As I wonder who all these folks are, here’s what I come up with:

  1. The runner who has accomplished what he wanted to accomplish running and is now looking for his next challenge.
  2. The athlete/runner who hates running, but will do it if broken up by a series of other physical challenges.
  3. The grown-up who’s still a big kid inside and cannot resist playing in the mud or splashing in a giant puddle when given the chance.

I’m not sure which category they fall into, but Dan O’Rourke and Ray Thompson decided they wanted to host their own mud run. In June 2013, the first Wicked Mud Run took place in Bolton, MA. This weekend, the second race will occur at the Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, MA. To register click here. In 2014, they hope to have a 6 race series.

Unlike some of the obstacle course and mud run brands, Wicked Mud Run intentionally seeks to put on a race that is a bit smaller in size. While it is a timed course and they hope to attract competitive athletes, they also want to create a race atmosphere that is family friendly, and welcome participants of all fitness levels. Race founder Dan O’Rourke clarifies that does not mean the course is easy. Like many other similar events, the Shrewsbury course is about 3 miles and will have 12-15 obstacles like a 10 foot wall, mud pits and a “sandbag gauntlet”. And it takes place on a mountain, so some uphill running is likely.

My theory about mud run participation, though not scientifically proven, is based on fact that I am friends with all of these types of people and they are registering for these events. From what I hear, the feeling of accomplishment is just as great as running a road race.

I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I am jumping over fire pits and have mud in my ears.

As always, let me know what you think and what’s going on in your running community. Post comments here or email me at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

     Chrissy Horan has been running around Boston and nearby neighborhoods since 2000. An athlete through high school and college, she has found the running community in Boston to More »

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